We spent the second leg of our Japan trip in Hakone, a resort town ~1 hour outside of Tokyo, known for its onsen hot springs and views of nearby Mt. Fuji.
Unexpected but wonderful:
- Transportation: upon arriving at the train station, all visitors check luggage with a service that transports guests’ bags to their hotels, allowing them to freely ride the many modes of transportation that comprise the Hakone sightseeing loop including: train, cable car funicular, bus, ropeway, and pirate ship (around Ashi lake)
- Onsen Tamago: eggs that have been hard-boiled in the volcanic hot springs, yum!
- Open Air Museum: admittedly, we expected this amazing space to be boring, but it was filled with dynamic, interactive exhibits, including a maze and climbing structures
The most memorable part of Hakone was our traditional Japanese guest house (ryokan). Our ryokan had amazing onsen hot springs overlooking Mt. Fuji. In fact, each traditional Japanese room, with a tatami woven mat floor and traditional futon beds, also had a picture-perfect view of Japan’s highest volcano. Guests at the ryokan wear traditional yukata robes (cotton kimonos) and are served a traditional kaiseki dinner, consisting of several, small, elaborately displayed dishes including:
Where to stay & eat: Fujimien Ryokan
Visitor tip: Buy a Hakone “free-pass” which includes the roundtrip train from Tokyo as well as unlimited access on all of the modes of transportation within Hakone. Very worthwhile.